The manager of the Ceramica Flaminia team, Roberto Marrone, appealed to UCI president Pat McQuaid over his team's exclusion from the Giro d'Italia. The Giro organiser RCS Sport invited the Fuji-Servetto team to fill the final spot last week, leaving the Ceramica squad of Italian champion Filippo Simeoni out.
Marrone, manager of the Professional Continental team, complained in a letter to McQuaid that selection to the Grand Tours and other important races are supposed to be by regulation, "based on pure merit and ethical sport".
Marrone also pointed out that, while his team earned the UCI's "wild card" designation, there are several teams which have not and which have been invited to the Giro d'Italia over them.
"It is unacceptable that, despite being among the top 10 teams in the ranking of Europe Continental Tour and [having] received the Wild Card Label, our team is systematically excluded from most major competitions for the benefit of other teams that will not be more competitive than us."
Acqua e Sapone, LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini and Xacobeo-Galicia are the three non-wild card teams which will take part in the Giro. Wild card status is not required for Grand Tours, but participation in the UCI's biological passport program is.
"Why is it important to get this recognition if it is ignored by the organizers?" Marrone asked of the wild card status. "When a team works in a serious and correct manner and is supported by reliable sponsor, it must have the opportunity to compete in the most prestigious competitions."